Save Frank Larking's Boat
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LATEST NEWS (18 Aug 2017)
PLEASE FILL THE BOAT WITH FLOWERS! Let's send a message to the Kaipatiki Local Board - and ask them to reconsider their decision that the Frank Larkings playboat must be permanently removed from the water. See UPDATES below for more info.
The Frank Larkings Boat has been at the heart and soul of the Beach Haven community for more than 40 years - since he donated it to 'The Children of Beach Haven' as a play boat. For decades it's been loved by local kids - and has become easily the most-photographed icon of the area.
Beach Haven's an Auckland suburb where we still live the Kiwi dream of days gone by and the kids have loads of adventuring opportunities right around the corner from home. Where they roam around barefoot, ride bikes, swing on the rope swing, jump off the wharf, play in the parks ... and on Frank Larkings boat.
Now our boat is under threat - and the Auckland Council wants to replace it with a soulless pontoon.
They say the boat isn't safe for our kids ... that rainwater that collects in the bottom is a hazard. (There's a bung you can pull out to release any collected water ... so easy even a small child could do it....) An independent health & safety professional we spoke to says his own kids play in it often, and he has no concerns for their safety.
It is ironic that the Council makes no mention of any health & safety hazard posed by the habour the boat is moored in. We believe little kids are far safer in the safe embrace of a high-sided lifeboat than in the swift tidal currents.
Council officers also say the boat has deteriorated beyond the point of repair. So we had a heritage boat expert do an independent assessment. His conclusion? It's perfectly sound and will float for decades with regular, inexpensive, maintenance.
Oh - and did we mention that the boat has an amazing heritage even before becoming our play boat? It's believed to have been a lifeboat on the RMS Niagara, which sank off the coast near Whangarei after hitting a mine back in 1940.
The fact that it had a large cargo of gold on board at the time makes it one of the most famous shipwrecks in NZ history. And no lives were lost, so clearly the lifeboats did their duty well!
Please help us save and preserve this wonderful piece of history from being just another fading memory.
PS: Apart from donating the iconic boat, Frank also single-handedly built us a sandy beach, rowing thousands of journeys to the shores of Hobsonville opposite to dig sand and bring it back to Beach Haven. Sadly, the sand has washed away - but the man is a true blue Kiwi legend! Let's honour his life and legacy by saving the boat!
SIGN OUR PETITION TO SHOW THAT YOU AGREE THAT:
We oppose the removal of the Frank Larkings Boat and request that Council continue to maintain it as a play boat at its current mooring at Beach Haven.
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More info on the legendary Frank Larking and his boat can be found at: http://www.historicbirkenhead.com/frank-larking.html
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